Jake’s Day

JakeWe’ve all had days where we didn’t want to do something, but had no choice.  Today, Jake visited me to learn to ride a bike.  I’m sure part of him did want to learn, but part of him certainly did not.  Yes, there was fear.  Yes, there was coordination issues to overcome.  But Jake also has mild Asperger’s.  This in itself, was not part of today’s challenge for Jake to learn.  He swallowed up the coaching tips, and he bravely did as I asked.  However, he was clearly shy and doubtful about what we could achieve together.

Like with all my students, we took our time with advancing the lesson.  With Jake, even as he’d progress, he would be a bit quiet.  Almost melancholy.  But I’d coax a smile out of him and remind him of how far he had come so far.  He was balancing and braking and turning (overcoming any coordination issues).  We took many breaks so he could talk to his parents and hug his mom.  I’d remind him of how well he learned all the tips.  At the very end, he was riding.  A bit nervously, but he could do it.  Even when he really thought he couldn’t.

It was a special day for Jake, but also for me.  I’m used to my students’ excitement level to get higher and higher as they get more and more confident.  I found myself trying new things to keep Jake engaged and increasing his confidence (and joy of riding).  In the end, it was a matter of letting him be who he is, and crafting the lesson around him.  Just goes to show, even the Bike Whisperer has to continue to learn, too.

Congrats, Jake, on this important milestone.  Be proud of your achievement today.

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Email: bikewhisperer1@gmail.com Facebook: www.facebook.com/thebikewhisperer Twitter: www.twitter.com/bike_whisperer Region: Dallas/Fort Worth

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